Take a 5% paycut or face layoffs.
That's the option Council Prez Ron Angle is giving County workers, complaining that he's not making enough headway to eliminate a possible twenty per cent tax hike next year. "If everybody agrees to a five percent pay cut, we'll agree to no layoffs," Angle stated.
That brought Director of Administration John Conklin to his feet. He just finished negotiating a deal for corrections officers, providing for modest increases (2.25%, 5%, 2.5%) over the next three years. Council, including Angle, just voted for that a few weeks ago. Conklin is using that as a basis for his negotiations with other unions, and he told Angle unions won't respond to efforts to renegotiate contracts.
Angle responded that's because senior union members are more interested in protecting their pensions and salaries than in saving the jobs of junior workers. "A job with 95% of what you make and a guarantee. That's not bad," said Angle.
In a recent CNBC poll, three out of four workers said they'd accept a pay cut to save their jobs. Half would accept salary reductions of up to 9%. But would they accept less if they were saving someone else's job instead of their own? Five per cent might be just enough to push some County workers, especially those in clerical positions, into poverty. Many of them work second jobs now.
The Express Times' Sarah Cassi has a more detailed report.